Monday, December 13, 2010

Damn You, Steel Magnolias

First for an Omnipod update, I can't believe I've been shot free since September! Pods are sticking to me pretty well, bloodsugars are regulating for the most part, and Peter, my PDM, has been very nice to me for the last couple of weeks. I have been seriously slacking on reporting back to my pump manager, not because of shame and dread, as I'm used to, but genuinely because I have been so busy, and have always been sort of bad at time management.My diabetes goal for the week is to upload and get in touch with MJ, my manager.

What I really wanted to talk about is Steel Magnolias. I am betting that everyone has seen this movie, from the early 90's I believe, starring, among other famous actors, Sally Fields, Dolly Parton, Dylon McDermott, and playing the character of the young Southern newlywed, baby-craving diabetic is Julia Roberts. I don't know about everyone else, but this movie just gets under my skin. I don't remember ever seeing it before I was diagnosed, but I do remember seeing it for the first time after. I was distraught for weeks, maybe even months. I still merely have to think about this movie and I want to cry. My heart doesn't just break the way it does with other sad movies, but fear slams into every inch of my consciousness. Fear over trying to have kids that I don't even want, yet. Fear over how that might affect the type of family I don't have, yet. The first time I got a low bloodsugar while I was babysitting my, at the time, newborn nephew, I was almost paralyzed with visions of Shelby (Julia's character) passed out on the porch, the stove on, the fridge door open, and her baby on the floor just wailing. My mom already gave up a kidney for her sister, my aunt, but maybe my sister would give me a kidney one day if I needed it, and it would be pointless because I might just die a year later. I have nightmares about my mother trying to wake me up from a coma I'll never come out of, exercising my legs while I'm on a ventilator, having to pull the plug because I'll never wake up from this episode. This movie was one of those things that magnified some of my harshest diabetic fears, from which, among other things, I lived in a sort of depression for so many years. One of those things that supported my decade long case of the "F*** Its," symptoms of which are not managing d, not taking insulin, eating whatever I wanted, drinking too much, drugs...etc.. Like I have said before, not all of my problems had to do with being a diabetic, but many of my fears that led me to where I was, at my breaking point, came from not understanding and not managing my diabetes.

I hate Steel Magnolias. I hate that people die of diabetes. I hate that other diabetics, young diabetics, might watch this movie and experience this same fear. I know I shouldn't watch it, but I can't rip my eyes away from it sometimes. It's so scary. It's so sad. Many things have changed since the time when this movie was made, but it still scares me. Diabetics don't die just because they don't take care of themselves or because they want to have babies, sometimes they just go low and crash their car or go low in their sleep and don't wake up.

My oldest sister and I had this one year where we were addicted to the television show Lost. I remember saying to her once, "you know, if I was in a plane that crashed on an island, I wouldn't last very long," and she said,"you know, I actually thought about that already." It made me sad, but then I felt okay about it. I'm not in this alone, you know?

Anyways, I know it doesn't have anything to do with my Omnipod, but Steel Magnolias has been a constant source of fear in my diabetic life, so I'm glad I have somewhere to vent about this. I'm glad I have a community of people with whom I can share, who understand, and who help me to not feel alone in this. I guess I'll wipe my tear streaked cheeks, dab my puffy red eyes, blow my snotty, runny nose, and get on with my happy new life with my wonderful new pump.


  1. Omg. This is so how I feel.

    I hate hate hate that movie. It causes people to doubt my diabetes knowledge and control and it causes me to doubt my yearning for a child. I was recently pregnant and that movie kept running through my type 1 head. I, unfortunately, lost the baby, which caused more type 1 doubts (which diabetes [and my a1c of 6.1... hollah!] had nothing to do with the miscarriage). I even had a moment of unexpected peace (if I could call it that) from losing this child that would have been due around the 4th of July, because the Shelby character had her baby then and proceeded to die. Stupid, stupid movie for putting doubts in my already overly cautious mind.

    Sorry for such a long me me me comment, but I completely agreed with your Steel Magnolias rant. You are right. You are never alone in the DOC. lol

  2. Great post....I haven't watched this movie since my daughter was dx...and I REALLY don't want her to see it!!!

    Thanks for the insight...I love it when bloggers take things a little deeper.

    Keep up the great work and enjoy that pod ;)

  3. Hi Jessica,

    I was hoping to get in touch with you about your blog with a quick question. Do you think you could email me when you see this? Thanks so much.